Monday, November 28, 2005

Jack, meet your pal Stephen

Politics, they say, makes strange bedfellows. If they know what’s good for them, Jack Layton and Stephen Harper will be saying nice things about each other during the election campaign. Neither can afford to let the Liberals do what they did last time: scare potential NDP supporters into voting Liberal. I think that strategy probably cost the NDP some ten seats, and may have cost the Tories a shot at forming a minority government. In Victoria, for example, New Democrat David Turner looked set to topple cabinet minister David Anderson, only to wind up losing narrowly. No doubt the Liberals will try the same stunt again – and why not? To counter it, the opposition parties are going to have to do more than refrain from bashing each other. Jack and Stephen will have to come right out and say things like, “While the leader of the Conservative Party (NDP) and I have our differences, I respect Stephen (Jack). I believe that, if necessary, we can find areas of agreement and work together for the good of the country. blah blah blah.” Even so, at the moment the most likely outcome is another Liberal minority. If that happens, Stephen Harper is almost certainly toast. Then again, if it’s a Tory win, Paul Martin is probably gone. Either way, Belinda will have the opportunity for a shot at the leadership. (Churchill crossed the floor twice. Why shouldn’t she?)

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